Celine Dion has postponed her Courage tour for the fourth time after revealing that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome. Per Variety, the tour was originally postponed due to the pandemic, and later because of undisclosed health issues; at the time, she said only that she was suffering from “severe and persistent muscle spasms.” On Thursday, she shared an emotional video to social media explaining the diagnosis and apologizing for the additional postponement.
“Recently I have been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff-person syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people. While we’re still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what’s been causing all of the spasms that I’ve been having,” she says in the video. “Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I’m used to.”
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (via CNN), stiff-person syndrome, or SPS, is “a rare, progressive syndrome that affects the nervous system, specifically the brain and spinal cord.” Symptoms may include “extreme muscle stiffness, rigidity and painful spasms in the trunk and limbs, severely impairing mobility.” These spasms have the potential to “generate enough force to fracture bone,” and while SPS can be treated, there is no cure, per the outlet.
“I have a great team of doctors working alongside me to help me get better and my precious children who are supporting me and giving me hope,” Dion goes on to say. “I’m working hard with my sports medicine therapist every day to build back my strength and my ability to perform again. But I have to admit it’s been a struggle. All I know is singing, it’s what I’ve done all my life and it’s what I love to do the most.”
Dion says that she has “hope that I’m on the road to recovery.” Nevertheless, she adds, “I miss you so much. I miss seeing all of you, being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100% when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now.”
“I want to thank you so much for your encouraging wishes of love and support on my social media,” she concludes. “This means a lot to me. Take care of yourselves. Be well. I love you guys so much. I really hope I can see you again real soon.”